Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Game 1 MLB Betting Pick – July 2

The Toronto Blue Jays will look to continue their torrid pace in what continues to be a hard-fought and important series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Jays have opened the pivotal match-ups by taking the first two games, but the pitching matchups could tilt in favour of Tampa Bay as we enter the weekend.

On Saturday, the Jays and Rays will feature in a two-game doubleheader, with the first encounter spotlighting two of the game’s best pitchers, in Shane McClanahan and Kevin Gausman.

The Rays could very well be a potential playoff opponent for Toronto, so you better believe both teams will be looking to make an impact. Tampa Bay continues to battle for a wild-card spot, and a big series this weekend could go a long way for their playoff positioning. They’ve fallen on some hard times of late with injuries, and their bats have continued to be silent. Kevin Gausman should be excited about facing this ice-cold offense come Saturday afternoon.

PITCHING PROBABLES: Rays: Shane McClanahan (8-3, 1.77 ERA, .83 WHIP, 123 strikeouts); Blue Jays: Kevin Gausman (6-6, 2.93 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 97 strikeouts)

With two winning squads and playoff implications already on the line here in July, this should make for an exciting game amid a loaded Friday slate of MLB action. Can the Rays continue an unlikely push up the standings with so many players injured? Or will the hometown Blue Jays prolong their dominant stretch? For more answers, as well as the latest trends, lineup news, and betting analysis, continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our winning wager on the Jays vs. Rays Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Game 1 Live Odds & Betting History

Betting odds provided by BOVADA

  • Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-180)
  • Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+160)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+110)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (-130)
  • Over 7 (-110)
  • Under 7 (-110)
Overall Record 40-36 44-33
Over/Under/Push 34-38-4 42-34-1
Home/Away Record 15-19 25-15
Runs Per Game 4.0 4.8
Runs Allowed Per Game 3.9 4.3
Team Batting Average .232 .258
Bullpen ERA 3.29 4.25

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Game 1 Prediction:

With Toronto cruising to two early series wins vs. Tampa Bay, the Rays can surely feel their slip on the final wild-card spot fading. With the Guardians hot on their tails, it’s a good thing Tampa Bay will turn to their ace, and likely Cy Young favourite, Shane McClanahan today.

That said, the Jays do mash lefties. They are typically a right-handed heavy lineup, and as a result they’ve tuned up left-handed pitching, registering an impressive 163 wRC+ against all lefties over the past month. And while the Rays counter that by struggling against right-handed pitchers, Tampa’s offense is in a funk overall. They have had some recent success however against the Jays’ Gausman, and could use that prior confidence to start stringing together some victories.


While Kevin Gausman is having a great season for the Jays, he has faded of late. One of the few teams that have hit him well, has been these Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa mashed Gausman for four runs back in May, and he wasn’t that great in June either. Gausman posted an average 3.96 ERA, and has been reportedly tipping his pitches of late. If Tampa can stay off of his sinker, expect them to get into favourable situations on Saturday.

While McClanahan will no doubt be tested by this Jays’ offense, he’s the best pitcher in baseball for good reason. He gives up very little hard contact, mixes his pitches exceptionally well, and can keep Toronto’s batters guessing and off-balance with his dominant off-speed stuff. He walks very little batters, and even if he does falter, the Rays’ boast one of the best bullpens in baseball.

While Toronto’s offense is tough to fully shut down, McClanahan is elite and should bring these batters back down to reality. Gausman meanwhile has faltered of late, and has shown big issues of late with regard to his hard-hit percentage. Beyond Gausman, the Jays’ bullpen is in shambles, and with two games on the day – don’t expect all that much help when/if Gausman falters. Toronto is without Yimi Garcia, Julian Merryweather, Nate Pearson, Trevor Richards, and Tayler Saucedo from their bullpen, and they own a 4.26 xFIP over the past month as a result. If the Rays can get to Toronto’s ‘pen early in Game 1, it should be quite the day for a Tampa Bay squad in need of a confidence booster.

Rays vs. Blue Jays Trends To Know:

  • Rays are 14-6 in their last 20 during game 3 of a series.
  • Rays are 43-19 in their last 62 Saturday games.
  • Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last 5 home games with the total set at 7.0-8.5.
  • Under is 11-2-1 in Rays last 14 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-1-2 in the last 7 meetings in Toronto.

Expect a hard-fought game 1 of this double-header early Saturday afternoon.  The Rays need some good momentum, and expect McClanahan to offer just that against a Jays’ offense that has likely been unsustainably hot over the past couple of weeks.  Kevin Gausman has shown some dangerous signs of fading, and look for some of those trends to catch-up with him on Saturday afternoon.  Back Tampa at a nice underdog price.

Our Pick
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.

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